After several years of forceful lobbying by the marijuana industry, a bill to approve the commercial sales of marijuana was narrowly passed by the Vermont House of Representatives. Public health and safety experts from Vermont and across the nation now turn to Governor Phil Scott in the hope that he will veto the bill.
The passage of this bill follows closely on the heels of a statewide poll finding 37 percent of Vermont voters support keeping the current marijuana policy of legal possession and home grow, 18 percent wish to see the drug legal only for medicinal purposes, and 15 percent believe the drug should be illegal. Only 30 percent believe the state should move toward implementing a taxed commercial market.
“The Vermont legislature has officially bent to the wishes of the marijuana industry and its Big Tobacco, Big Alcohol, and Big Pharma benefactors,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of SAM Action and a former senior drug policy advisor to the Obama Administration. “When the state legislature legalized recreational use in 2017, we said repeatedly that the industry would not stop until it was allowed to put pot shops on every street corner. Today, we have been unfortunately proven right. That said, this fight is far from over as we will continue to give a voice to parents, and the public health and safety communities in encouraging Governor Phil Scott to veto this harmful legislation.”